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A Memorable 2017 NSCC

I recently had an assignment at school to write a narrative about a moment in my childhood that I remember vividly, to put myself in third person and use a quote from Kurt Vonnegut that described my story. So, I thought I would share this hobby story with all of you. I hope you enjoy it.

It was the 2017 National Sports Collectors Convention. It took place in Rosemont, Illinois, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. It was the biggest convention of the year for anything to do with sports card collecting. 

On Friday July 28th, 2017, a newer member to the hobby of collecting sports cards would come for one day to this convention and he was really excited for the day. His name was Brody and he had absolutely no idea how this day was about to change his life. He walked into this absolutely massive convention center and he didn’t know where to start. There were large corporate booths in the center of the room and on the outside were sellers that collected cards just like him. 

Previously, Brody had shopped at this big online shop called “Dave and Adam's Card World” and they were set up at the show. That’s where he went first. Brody saw the table and couldn’t believe his eyes. 

“It’s huge!” Brody exclaimed. Brody circled around the multiple tables the company had many times, and ended up spending $35 at just that one booth. 

“Well that was awesome,” stated Brody’s dad, who had gotten Brody into sports card collecting and was the reason they were at the show on that day. 

“That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in this hobby,” as Brody still seemed in awe over the booth and the show. But, now he wondered what booth they should go to next. He knew as soon as he saw the red Topps logo across their booth, that he wanted to head there. 

“Mom, Dad, let’s go to the Topps booth!” Brody exclaimed. His parents agreed because they knew they would have gone there eventually because Topps is the biggest card company in the world. They also have been making cards since 1951 so Brody wanted to see what they were doing at this year's convention. Brody got to the booth and sat down on their thick, red carpet and heard another voice come from the microphone.

“Pack Wars starts in 5 minutes!” and “Free Topps pack wars!” were both being exclaimed through the microphone. Brody asked his parents if he could do the pack wars and they were ok with it and he got a free pack of cards that he would open once the pack wars started.

The man started to count “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, open your packs,” he exclaimed. Here’s where the fun began, he looked for things like the tallest player on the card, or heaviest player and if you had the right card, you would get a bonus raffle ticket towards the prizes at the end. 

Brody was really excited and was so intent in the game. He didn’t end up winning anything but he still had a ton of fun. After the pack wars he saw a sign-up sheet for the annual Topps Q-and-A. Brody and his family signed up for the event that evening after the show.

Brody arrived at the Q-and-A and it was a great experience for him before anything even began. There was food and people were saying every year they give you an exclusive autograph card at the end of the night, which he was so excited for. 

The Q-and-A started and Brody was really just there for the experience not expecting to ask a question. But, his mom had a great idea.

His mom whispered, “You should go up and ask them a question.”

Brody thought it was a good idea but he was a bit shy. Eventually, he came around and asked for the microphone.

Brody grabbed the microphone and was about to ask his question to three very important people at Topps. Dan was the vice president of marketing and sales at the company. Dave was the Vice president/general manager of North American Sports & Entertainment at the company. Clay was the vice president of product development. Brody was nervous but he asked the question.

“Hi, my name is Brody. I’m nine now, how long until I can work for Topps? The crowd burst into laughter and Brody got a funny response from Dave.

“For right now you would probably have to work on a consulting basis, after that I’d have to check state laws for full time employees.”

Brody got just the response he wanted and it was really funny and made the whole room laugh. But, Alan Narz who ran the pack wars earlier in the day and was now running the Q-and-A, told him something that no kid could ever forget.

“I’ll tell you what Brody, give me your best idea for Topps products for kids and I’ll make sure Topps sends you something nice.”

Brody was ecstatic! He enjoyed the rest of Q-And-A, got a picture with Dan, Dave and Clay, and found out what their surprise autographed card was. 

Brody was a White Sox fan but the Cubs were coming off their World Series win, so when he saw an Ian Happ rookie autograph numbered to 50, he was so happy.

He got in the car that night and realized how awesome one day could be when you take chances. 

“What a day”, he said to himself.

Little did Brody know, next year before The National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, Topps would ask him to be “Brody The Topps Kid.” and work with them at their booth, and it was all because he had the courage to ask the question. He has continued to work with sports card companies into the future and has his own brand “Brody The Kid”

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down” - Kurt Vonnegut

I hope you liked hearing the story of how my hobby journey started! To see what I am up to now, follow me on Instagram at BrodyTheKid1, on X at BrodyTK!

Peace Out!


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